I wore this tee in Florida heat for 3 full days—and it's still odor-free
Proof’s 72-Hour Merino Tee didn't disappoint.
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When it comes to buying clothing, I gravitate towards pieces that are more functional than not. I’m a huge fan of outdoor-ready clothes that have special capabilities, like moisture-wicking properties, extra pockets—bonus points if they’re hidden—or hefty zippers. Chances are, if it comes with an adjustable strap or it's made of hard-wearing fabrics, I like it.
That said, a T-shirt isn’t the first thing I think of when it comes to utilitarian use—at least until I discovered technical apparel brand Proof. It offers a shirt that promises 72 hours of wear without any stench. Designed for outdoor activities as much as for casual wear, the tee is priced at one dollar per hour of non-stink wear—that’s $72 per top—and claims to be able to retain its shape and regulate body temperature, all while blocking odor. Could it be true? I had to find out.
I wore the 72-Hour Merino tee for three days straight to see if the odor-controlling material reeked of marketing lies or told a refreshing truth.
What I like about the Proof 72-Hour Merino Tee
With this shirt, you get exactly what you’d expect and then some: a T-shirt you can wear for three days and maybe even longer without washing. I know this because I wore it—to my girlfriend’s dismay—for 72 straight hours, and despite my body smelling at times, the tee held up its end of the bargain.
I’m not an athletic guy, but I wanted to sweat in this T-shirt to see how well it performed. I went about my daily routine of doing office work, lounging around, and cooking, and then added mandatory exercises in my evenings. On day one, I rode my bicycle for 10 miles and soaked through the tee. On day two, I took a two-mile walk at a local park and came home to perform 20 minutes of kettlebell swings. Day three saw me tossing my kettlebell around at home again, riding my stationary bike, and doing a few extra push-ups to ward away the guilt of some beer I had the night before. Despite how much sweat, sunshine, and moisture I steeped in, the results were the same: No smelly T-shirt.
It comes as a shock considering how much I’ve sweat through the tee in the humid Florida weather, and how stinky I got—doubly so on day one, as I forgot to put on deodorant before leaving my house. But the 72-Hour Merino Tee didn’t absorb any of that smell, nor did it retain any sweat. That’s because it’s made of a blend of 87% merino wool and 13% nylon—the former fabric helps regulate body temperature and is naturally microbial to ward odor, while the latter adds durability to the stretchy material. The fabric makeup helps the shirt remain a sturdy piece that can withstand all-day wear with minimal worry. And don't let "wool" make you think "itchy"—merino is fine and very soft, making this shirt feel smooth and breathable.
The tee is also very easy to care for. It’s machine-washable and safe to toss in the dryer on a low setting. Merino wool typically shrinks in the dryer, though Proof assures its tee will retain its size after laundering. I don’t own a dryer so I couldn’t test that claim. I did, however, lay my tee flat on my dining table after washing and saw that it completely dried within 20 minutes. Not only that, it didn’t bear any wrinkles—another benefit of this fabric.
Furthermore, the stitching feels high quality and robust. I was able to stretch and move around in the shirt without noticing any visible signs of stress, like threads straining at the seams or the fabric becoming misshapen from being pulled. I’m confident this tee could be worn on a multi-day hike without wash, or even packed away for a vacation to be worn multiple times in a week. I also think it’s great for layering, as it’s stretchy, thin, wicks away moisture at a fast rate, and is wrinkle-resistant.
What I don’t like about the Proof 72-Hour Merino Tee
If there were anything I’d knock Proof’s T-shirt for, it’d be its slim fit. It’s a personal preference, but I prefer relaxed and loose clothing to tapered and snug. This shirt accentuates my chest and shoulders too much, and frankly, clings around the midsection where I'd prefer it to be more loose and concealing. I’d love to wear the 72-Hour Merino Tee in a relaxed cut, though I understand that most of those who are buying this T-shirt are using it for hiking, traveling, and other activities where tighter-fitting clothing might be more useful. It’s not a dealbreaker for everybody, but it is notable for those who are in the same camp as myself.
Is the 72-Hour Merino Tee worth it?
Not only would I recommend the 72-Hour Merino Tee for outdoors enthusiasts and travelers, but also for those wanting a functional T-shirt in general. This is a tee that you don’t have to wash frequently and is tough enough to handle buckets of sweat, yet it’s so thin it’s fit for all-day wear.
For such an airy T-shirt, it’s hard to believe how suitable it is for active lifestyles. At $72, the price of Proof’s merino tee is par the course with other brands—even REI’s in-house merino crew tops are hovering around the $70 mark—and I believe it’s worth every penny.